Microsoft Delivers Final Version of Visual Studio 2013 Update 3
"The most exciting thing about that is we now have Windows 7 support for Cordova tooling," Harry said. "It used to be that you needed a Windows 8 machine to build Cordova apps using Visual Studio, but now we support using Windows 7 and Windows 8. That was a very common user request. And that was the number one blocker for people trying the Cordova CTP – trying to install it on Windows 7 and running into a stumbling block." Moreover, Microsoft has made moves to shore up its support for the desktop, Harry said. "We've got a lot of different platforms and one thing I hear is we have an anxiety against the desktop and are walking away from the desktop," he said. Yet, that is not true. "We are continuing to invest in the desktop and in Update 3 we have a nice improvement coming specifically for desktop development," he said. "We have a capability in Visual Studio called a memory profile that allows you to find out where your app is using memory, if it's leaking memory how much is it leaking, where is it leaking. And in Update 3 we are adding support for WPF and all Win32 applications for that memory profile. That's darn handy for tracking down locations that are leaking memory." In addition to those being among the major enhancements in the update, Microsoft "fixed many, many dozen bugs" in this update, Harry said. "Our goal is to make it so that everyone is just happy they installed the update." He said generally within a month of an update being available, most users move to the newer one."I can also hook to Office 365," Harry said. "So if I'm an Office 365 customer I can sign in with my Office 365 credentials into VS Online and have single sign-in across Azure, VS Online, Office 365 and my corporate network. That's a major step forward for corporations wanting to use VS Online to host their web development stuff." In addition, Microsoft has had a pretty big push to have internal people move to VS Online. And the company now has some very large teams on VSO. The largest has 12,600 active users using VS Online in a single account. That's more than an order of magnitude bigger than some of Microsoft's largest external VSO customers. "Our method is to dogfood first," Harry said, referring to Microsoft's practice of using its own technology or "eating its own dogfood," as the company describes it. "In total at Microsoft we now have a total of 25,000 or more people using it in some form or other. This week we had an event known as OneWeek and we encouraged people to use VSO for the hackathon. That ended up bringing in thousands of more people to use VS Online for the hackathon." Harry said Microsoft also is working on providing Git tooling for Visual Studio Online and has introduced pull requests for VSO, which provides an open-source style workflow. Pull requests are used to submit contributions to open development projects. Meanwhile, "I suspect we’ll ship the first CTP of Update 4 in a couple of months," Harry said in a blog post. Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 can be downloaded here.
Meanwhile, work continues apace on Visual Studio Online (VSO), which Microsoft announced last November. VSO runs on a different cadence; it ships every three weeks. Microsoft has been working on some new things regarding Visual Studio Online. The single biggest thing is Active Directory support, so enterprises can hook up their corporate directory to Visual Studio Online.